interviews Archive

Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents Natalie Diaz & When My Brother Was an Aztec

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I happened to read Natalie Diaz’s book When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press, 2012) on July Fourth, and it was a surreal experience. I live on small lake in Massachusetts, and as the neighbors blasted the sky with exploding light I wondered about the Wampanoags who

First Drafts: Nonfiction (A Conversation with Lia Purpura, Jack Pendarvis, and Sven Birkerts)

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1. How do your essay ideas typically come to you? Lia Purpura: Let me reroute the notion of “typical” here. Single words, images, scents, incongruities, awe, toothache—all of these offer possibilities, though the moment of launch is always, at heart, mysterious. Knowing what starts you up shouldn’t in any way

Interview with Mary Biddinger, Series Editor for the Akron Series in Poetry

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In truth, I had never put much thought into the Akron Series in Poetry in the past, partially due to my own ignorance, and partially due to aesthetics.  However, lately, I’ve been more interested in the Series, edited by Mary Biddinger relatively recently beginning in 2008.  I love what Mary

Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents Tarfia Faizullah and the Unpublished Manuscript

Author: | Categories: Publishing, Writing 4 Comments
The work of getting a manuscript published, that rejection and frustration, begins to feel at times like self abuse. Writing is a lonely adventure, but most of us feel driven to it; quitting is inconceivable. Submitting work, though, is more like managing a business, and most poets I know

Anatomy Courses, and an Interview with Blake Butler

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Anatomy Courses Blake Butler and Sean Kilpatrick Lazy Fascist Press, January 2012 132 pages $10.95 Anatomy Courses by Blake Butler and Sean Kilpatrick is twisted in the best possible sense: linguistically. Butler and Kilpatrick’s work of fiction consists of 62 short sections, mostly one or two pages long, that

Interview with Tracy K. Smith – “Poets are Lucky”

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I met Tracy K. Smith a couple of weeks before she won the Pulitzer Prize for her terrific and completely ravishing new book, Life on Mars.  We were at a book party for Stephen Motika and his lovely new book, Western Practice – a loft somewhere downtown, in the

Five for Eduardo C. Corral

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I first read Eduardo C. Corral’s poems in Poetry and was knocked out by them. I then found out that Carl Phillips had chosen Eduardo’s first book “Slow Lightning” as his inaugural choice as judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize (the first Latino poet to ever

Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents: Deborah Clearman

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“You can say anything with kindness” is the oft-repeated phrase of most professors in writing workshops. It’s a reminder, of course, to speak the truth in our criticism of each other’s work, but to speak it gently. It’s one way to make the workshop environment feel safe and comfortable.

First Drafts: Fiction

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A Conversation with Lauren Groff, Kevin Moffett, and Christine Schutt This week, I’m excited to introduce a series of conversations I’ll be posting in the coming months: First Drafts. I’m talking to writers across genres about that tenuous and thrilling moment when something new arrives and, in one way

On Quietness: an Interview with Brian Morton

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It wasn’t long into my semester in Brian Morton’s graduate fiction workshop at NYU when I realized that the understated manner in which he led the class was misleading. On the page, that same writer who led class so unobtrusively was one of the toughest critics I’d encountered, examining